Barthes, Kant, and Reclaimation

In my recent post The [re]Adventures of Little Viv I mentioned a curious thing, that is my previous refusal to print out the photographs that the camera herself had created. Since I have printed them out in order to create my collages I feel I am taking ownership of these images back from the digital world and into a physical one. I have just this minute reclaimed some of these for myself, and only for myself, by removing them from Facebook. The removal of the photographs that now manifest themselves as collages is a personal one that may not make a lot of sense to anyone other than me. After all, these images are of objects and places and as such do not appear to be very personal in nature.

Roland Barthes can help me explain my actions when he speaks of a private photograph of his mother:
     “For you, it would be nothing but an indifferent picture, one of a thousand manifestations of the ‘ordinary’; it cannot in any way constitute the visible object of a science; it cannot establish an objectivity, in the positive sense of the term; at most it would interest your studium:… but in it, for you, no wound.”

The object within the original photograph may hold nothing personal for you but it does for me. In choosing to show you only the collage of the original photograph I am showing you my memory of it and the impact it has on me. My collages are my picture of the world as I see it. These images feature no human model (with the exception of yesterday’s collage ‘scar’) yet they still show aspects of my Self, and in this respect they are autobiographical images.

Professor Timothy Chappell said:
     “…we should try thinking about all the possible pictures that we might have of what the world is like. What kind of order and structure is implicit in any picture of the world that we might adopt? What kind of conditions of coherence and consistency must be satisfied by any account of reality that we can find credible, if it is to count as a possible account of reality?”

In this case he was describing Kant’s Copernican revolution and the metaphorical picture of the world that we should try to adopt. However, it could easily be the case that he is discussing my methods of shaping the photographic world through collage.

My collages are simply my account of reality.


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